Angry Italian farmers protested the ‘red meat causes cancer’ claim by eating this giant sausage sandwich

The World Health Organisation may have learnt this week that all brands can be damaged – even ones backed by the world’s academia.

Astonishment swept the internet on Monday after the WHO added processed meat to a small, but deadly list of things which give humans cancer, alongside plutonium and tobacco. Red meat came close, filed under “probably causes cancer”.

Social media lifestylers who knew it was coming nodded their heads. Nutritionists and scientists cautiously added their take on it.

Then, ridicule followed, by far the most popular reaction, as the mob came together under the #FreeBacon banner:

And now, anger, as the impact of the statement that eating sausage and bacon can give you cancer starts to settle in and even talk of warning labels starts to circulate.

Especially in Italy, where life without a big meaty sausage constantly at hand is no life at all. And there’s no better way to show your anger at anything than by constructing a giant effigy and destroying it.

In this case, a massive ham sandwich:

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Measuring over three metres long and stuffed with 100kg of potentially cancer-causing ham, salami and sausage, it was the best way the Italian farmers’ association Coldiretti could highlight the fact that the pork industry is worth €20 billion a year to Italy and employs 105,000 people.

“In Italy we have lower rates of cancer and meat consumption than the countries considered by the WHO report,” a spokesperson for Coldiretti told The Local.

“It’s important consumers don’t just assume all processed meat is bad – it’s part of the Mediterranean diet which we know to be healthy.”

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